.......................  ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park


Choosing the Right Fly - Part 11

Please excuse my missing a couple of days.  We were caught off guard with
some unanticipated problems.
Continuing with:
Where Trout Feed During Hatches
Some hatching insects never get caught in the fast water. Examples are stonefly
nymphs that all crawl out of the water in calmer areas. Slate Drake mayflies that
crawl out of the stream from calm water onto the banks to hatch. Mahogany Dun
mayflies almost that always hatch in calm pockets along the banks and usually
never get caught up in fast currents before they can fly away. Many species of
Blue-winged Olives are able to depart the water from calmer sections or
moderately moving water before getting caught up in fast water.  

Some mayflies do usually get caught up in fast water before they are able to
depart the water. Western March Browns,
Eperous species called Yellow Quills
hatch in calm pockets within the fast water areas of the stream but often get
caught in the fast currents prior to departing the water. However, the facts are
that most hatching aquatic insects and egg layers do not usually get caught up
in the fast currents of pocket water.

When trout feed in the slow to moderately flowing sections of the streams; or
eddies, pools, the ends of runs and riffles and calm pockets that are within the
fast flowing freestone streams, they can examine the fly much closer. Given that
opportunity, if the fly is not very imitative of the natural insect and if it is not
presented in such a manner as to behave like the natural insect, the trout will
usually reject the fly.

As I just touched on, the problem isn’t just a matter of how well the imitation
looks like the real thing. The way in which it is presented may be an even bigger
problem. You have probably heard over and over that the presentation of the fly
is more important than the fly itself. That is a very correct statement but it
does not mean that the fly isn't important. It just means that a perfect imitation is
not effective unless it is presented to the trout in the same manner they view the
real thing. The fly must drift and act like the real thing without the trout being
able to become alerted or alarmed by a tippet, fly line or leader attached to it.
Again, that is fairly easy to accomplish in fast moving water but again, that is not
always where the trout are feeding. The presentation and the appearance of the
fly become even more critical in slow or moderately moving water. When anglers
concentrate only on the fast water of riffles and runs they may be making a big

Continued tomorrow

Copyright 2009 James Marsh